Tamron’s 16-300mm Is a Real Boy Now, Goes Longer Than Pinocchio’s Nose


Tamron 16-300mm Di II VC PZD Macro


Remember when Tamron announced their plans to make an insane 16-300mm zoom for crop bodies? Well, today that lens becomes considerably more real, having gotten pricing and availability finally. Officially designated B016, it’s “friendly” name is the 16-300mm Di II VC PZD Macro, which astute readers will notice for once doesn’t tell you everything you need to know about the lens. Missing are the maximum apertures, but luckily I can inform you those are f3.5-6.3. So, you have an effective 24-450mm (on Nikon, Sony, and pretty much everyone who isn’t Canon) or a 25.6-480mm (on Canon with their odd 1.6x crop) super zoom with the same apertures as the now-less-impressive 18-270mm. The PZD tells you it has a piezo-electric stepping motor for focusing, providing snappy focus for stills and acceptably smooth focus for video. VC is Tamron’s vibration compensation, which is really top of the line stuff these days and will do exactly what it claims when it says it’ll keep your images shake free. While I can’t in good conscience tell you an 18.8x super-zoom will optically stellar in every aspect, a pretty exotic construction of 16 elements in 12 groups with one ultra-extra (yes, they really call it that) refractive glass element, two low dispersion elements, one regular-ol’ extra refractive element, three molded glass aspherical elements, and one hybrid aspherical element suggest Tamron has gone to some pretty great lengths to assure it has the best image quality it possibly can for the constraints a super-zoom demands.


They gave us some small sample shots to illustrate what can be done with this:

Tamron_B016_Woman in market_©IanPlant

Tamron_B016_Stairs in Morocco_©IanPlant


Tamron_B016_Man and Camel_©IanPlant



Tamron_B016_Blue Alley in Morocco_©IanPlant


Preeeeetty, right?

So, obviously, the 16-300mm is not just redefining how many “x”s of zoom you can shove in a lens, but it has some aspirations for being a darn solid optic to boot. Big range, VC, exotic optical formula, and it even has a pretty darn awesome 15.3″ minimum focusing distance and none-too-shabby 1:2.9 maximum macro reproduction for the cherry on top.

All that was left is to know just how much this monster will run. And now we can tell you: $629. That’s it. $629. Only $180 more than the venerable 18-270mm. And we’re going to start receiving them on May 15th. Which is only like a month away,

So, maybe now would be a good time to remind you that you can get on our preorder list for one right here?

Thought so.


  • Scott Miller says:

    will this lens be compatible with a Canon full frame?

    • Derek Derek says:

      Sadly no. As mentioned, it’s for crop bodies only (in the Tamron line, that would be the Di II designation.) It’s sadly a lot more difficult to make a travel zoom like this for full frame because the lens has to cover a much larger image circle, which raises the size, weight, and cost of such a lens pretty sharply. The closest you’ll find is usually a 28-300mm, such as the upcoming one Tamron announced back when it originally announced this lens: http://robertscamera.com/28-300mm-f-3-5-6-3-di-vc-pzd.html

      • Derek Derek says:

        Sorry, guess I did forget to actually say it’s crop-only, just listed the equivalent focal lengths. Bad Derek. But yeah, sadly, crop only. I don’t believe it’ll even mount on Canon full-frame since they lack the secondary mount mark needed for the crop lenses. Nikon uses could mount and use the lens, and then use the crop area mode on their full frames. Not so useful on an older body like the D700, but on a high rez one like the D800 that could be a useful trick for adding a travel zoom to a kit.

  • Colleen Kliewer says:

    So are you saying this is a great lens or a great lie? I am traveling and need a good telephoto lens. This would replace my kit 18-135, my macro and my 75-250 canon lenses and be lightweight. Is it too good to be true? Or should I buy or rent a Tameron 200-500?

    • Derek Derek says:

      Colleen, sorry, my editor just noticed this comment slipped past on us. I’m just saying the lens gets very long. I have not had a chance to try this lens in person yet, so I can’t say if the quality is a lie or not, but those are some seriously nice sample photos, and Tamron’s recent lenses have done nothing but impress the pants off of me. I swear by their new 24-70mm, even sold my Nikon one to get it because the Tamron is actually a better lens. So, I have high hopes for this being the new gold standard in travel zooms. I just can’t say for sure it is yet.

Leave a Reply